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Top 10 Ways How St. Patrick's Day Is Celebrated in Ireland

When talking about St. Patrick's Day, one thing comes to mind: Ireland. Most people know the holiday as a cultural Irish celebration celebrated on March 17th in honor of St. Patrick's death. 



People holding an effigy of St. Patrick in a St. Patrick’s Day parade (Photo from pxfuel)

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The feast day of Ireland’s patron saint is very important in the country’s religious calendar. In addition to the religious traditions associated with it, it’s also an official holiday. In popular culture, St. Patrick is more than a religious figure—he’s part of Irish culture itself.

Social Scene lists below the many ways that Ireland celebrates St. Patrick's Day. Is it different from what you expected or how you celebrate? What customs and traditions do they follow? What is the significance of these traditions? Find out more below!


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1. Wearing the Symbolic Green Color



Always wear green on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo from pxfuel)

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If there is one thing that symbolizes St. Patrick's Day, it’s the color green. During the celebration, people tend to wear green clothing to recognize their Irish heritage. You’ll also see many people wearing shamrocks blessed by the church. Folks don whatever green items they like, including hats, sunglasses, dresses, and shoes, and some even go out in full costume.

2. Joining St. Patrick's Day Parades



A St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland featuring balloon characters (Photo from pxfuel)

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The tradition of St. Patrick's Day parades actually began in New York, but the practice has spread to Ireland and beyond, with every country celebrating St. Patrick’s Day featuring a parade. Ireland has adopted these parades partially in order to help boost tourism in Dublin. 

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are widespread: they even have a 5-day festival filled with concerts, art shows, funfairs, and so on in places like Armagh. Belfast holds a carnival parade and concert as well.


3. Expecting a Younger Crowd for the Holiday



Street celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland (Photo from Tamara Gürtler via unsplash.com)

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Ireland sees St. Patrick's Day as a holiday celebrated by young people. They go to festivities, drink at pubs, and throw parties. St. Patrick's Day is all about being with friends, going out, painting Shamrocks on your face, and so on. As a traditional holiday, you would think that older people would be the most active celebrants, but it’s quite the opposite. 

4. Visiting the Best Old-School Pubs



Drinking Irish beer and liquor on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo from Jp Valery via unsplash.com)

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What is St. Patrick's Day without a drink with locals at the pub? One of the most popular destinations during the holiday is the Temple Bar. If you’re planning on visiting, note that the place will be packed, so make sure to prepare yourself.  


If you don’t care for crowds, you can also head over to Wexford Street, St. Stephen Green’s or Aungier Street. These streets are home to two of the best old-school pubs in Dublin: The Long Hall and The Swan. There’s also The Castle (or Grogan’s) on South Williams Street, not to mention Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland (est. 1198).


5. Prepare for a Lot of Closed Establishments



Most banks and shops are closed on this holiday (Photo from Jordan Harrison via unsplash.com)

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Remember that St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday, which means that major establishments are closed. The city center itself is closed off to traffic for the whole day. The best way to avoid delays when heading to your St. Patrick's Day party appointment is to arrive early. Even if you’ve already booked a place to stay, you will find it hard to reach quickly. Make sure to get there before the entire city closes down unless you’re up for a holiday adventure.

The festival typically runs from March 14th to the 18th. Arriving before the festivities start will help you save time and money.


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6. Tapping Into the Celtic Culinary Scene



Enjoy Celtic menus during St. Patrick’s Day (Photo from pxfuel)

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One of the most well-kept traditions of St. Patrick's Day is indulging in the Celtic culinary scene. Tradition is big when it comes to the holiday, and many passionate food lovers still make recipes handed from one generation to the next. 

When St. Patrick's Day arrives, foods like coddle, colcannon, and champ are always present, not to mention traditional potato pancakes. Visit the annual Craft Brew and Food Fair or go to the Guinness Supper Club to learn the secrets of St. Patrick's Day celebrations and taste local dishes.


7. Being a Little Bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day


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It’s time to eat as much traditional Irish food as you can! (Photo from Donald Giannatti via unsplash.com)

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If you are visiting Ireland for St. Patrick's Day, there’s nothing wrong with tapping into your Irish roots. Indulge in Irish delicacies! A staple of the celebration is Irish bacon, available at almost every restaurant and dinner party on St. Patrick's Day.

Another food to look forward to is lamb stew. Especially in Ireland, the St. Patrick’s Day celebration heralds spring. Spring and grazing lambs go hand in hand, which is why you can find this menu item in many holiday celebrations.

Chicken and leek pie is another traditional St. Patrick's Day food. Ireland’s comfort food, this dish is perfect for St. Patrick's Day, as it’s good for cold winters but still tastes great in springtime. And don’t forget to enjoy steak and Guinness pie — you can find lots of variations on this food in St. Patrick's Day dinners.

8. Warning: No Pinching!



American St. Patrick’s Day traditions aren’t quite the same as they are in Ireland (Photo from Prescott Horn via unsplash.com)

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In America, some people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by pinching people who are not wearing green. While this might be met with chiding and laughter in the US, in Ireland you should try to avoid it. Nothing good will come out of it (except perhaps a bar fight). Sit back and relax while enjoying Irish beer and food. Be part of how Ireland practices their St. Patrick's Day traditions and learn something new.

9. Preparing Cash When You Visit Ireland on St. Patrick's Day



Make sure to have enough cash on the holiday itself (Photo from Nick Pampoukidis via unsplash.com)

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As mentioned above, St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday. This means that most banks will be closed and you might have trouble getting cash. This is why it’s important to have cash ready, especially when you’re planning to eat and drink. Some cabs in Ireland only take cash, while others have a card minimum. If you arrive early, withdraw the cash that you need. You might find some ATMs during the celebrations, but expect to wait in long lines.

10. Last but Not Least, Ordering Yourself a Guinness



Don’t let the opportunity slide! (Photo from Tavis Beck via unsplash.com)

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When you go bar hopping on St. Patrick's Day, you need to drink a pint of Guinness. This is considered one of the most important things to do when visiting Ireland, and on March 17th many locals drink Guinness as well. Thirteen million pints of Guinness are consumed each year during the festivities.

Since you’re in Ireland, be part of that statistic! Try out the famous Irish beer and say cheers—'Sláinte' in Irish—before you take your first sip. Enjoy the rest of the day and make sure to cherish every moment you have!


If partying in green with your crew seems like something to do click below to save with code DWF and join the crowds in your city during the St Patrick's Day Bar Crawl!

2019 Denver St Patrick's Day Bar Crawl


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Grechelle Magbanua

Professional Content Writer

Social Scene


Topics: St Patrick's Day Content